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New Zealand farmer punished for the deaths of 29 animals

Following prosecution by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), Daniel Kilsby-Halliday, 40, was convicted in Levin District Court on five offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

Kilsby-Halliday was also sentenced to pay $7,161.20 in veterinary and related fees by the court.

MPI reacted to an allegation of at least ten dead cattle found in an area of Kilsby-Halliday’s property in August 2021.

An animal welfare inspector discovered 29 dead cattle on the ranch, which a veterinarian said would have perished from malnutrition and illness over the period of three weeks.

Before MPI came to inspect all livestock, the farmer euthanized two more cattle.

Before MPI arrived, 59 additional cattle were transferred to neighbouring paddocks with moderate grass cover. Of them, 27 were deemed to be so thin that immediate treatment was required to improve their health.

According to Grey Harrison, MPI’s national manager of animal welfare and National Animal Identification & Tracing (NAIT) compliance, the cattle would have been in significant suffering due to a lack of food.

“Some were also afflicted by parasites, and some would have died where they collapsed because they were too weak to get up off the ground,” he explains.

“The cattle were about 200 metres from the farmer’s house, and their gradual deterioration should have been detected through regular animal checks.” People in charge of animals are always responsible for their well-being, including giving enough food and prompt veterinary treatment. Mr Kilsby-Halliday fell short of these expectations.”

“Mr Kilsby-Halliday is a seasoned farmer who understood his responsibilities to his animals.” Most farmers do the proper thing for their animals, routinely checking on them and acting if they see changes in their health, but he didn’t. “If we discover evidence of neglect or cruelty, we will investigate and bring the case to court,” Harrison said.

The MPI strongly urges any member of the public who witnesses animal abuse or ill-treatment to report it to the MPI animal welfare complaints hotline at 0800 00 83 33.

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